Winning - The Promised Land
How do you go about your matches or tournaments?
What is your mindset?
Do you play with a sense of goodwill or do you get caught in the ego desire to “crush” your opponent(s)?
This isn’t saying that winning isn’t important, it’s just a comment on how best to play in the true spirit of the game. I find that many players, in their desire to win, actually focus their mind on the wrong things that take them out of their game and their play suffers from this.
In the west we’ve been conditioned to focus only on being 1st. After all, if you don’t win you’re just the first loser. This is the western mantra, like it or not. Sad, really.
I recall David Duval finishing 2nd in the Masters one year behind Tiger woods. He was being interviewed and a reporter commented on “how bad you must feel for losing.” David, in a response filled with amusement and amazement said, “Where did the idea come from that finishing 2nd is losing?! Of course I wanted to win but why should I feel bad for finishing in 2nd in a major championship?”
His point is spot on, in my opinion. The compulsion to only care about the big “W” is killing many players’ chances at performing to their potential.
Winning “Isn’t” Everything
Being so centered around getting the victory at all costs and feeling bad when this doesn’t happen is a recipe for actually becoming the loser everyone dreads being.
Think about it.
If you feel poorly every time you don’t win a bet with your buddies, a match or a PGA event, you better give up the game of golf real soon and spare yourself a future filled with inner torment and grief.
The game is about you challenging yourself and playing a golf course.
The true competition is yourself!
If you tap your potential and learn how to channel all of your skills, both mind and body, into your game, then you’ll experience victory every time you tee it up.
The camaraderie is another important part of golf.
Congratulating your opponent/friend when they win is equally important as winning itself. Jack Nicklaus prided himself on being a gracious “loser” (I use that term loosely of course) and making damn sure he left his bruised ego out of things after a match/tournament.
Winning is a state of mind, not just something that happens when you come in 1st.
When you’re mind is prepared properly, you respect the game and your playing partners/opponents, you won’t need to concern yourself so much about winning. You’ve already won.
Enjoy the fullness of the game.
This really relaxes the mind and then personal victory is inevitable.
When you make this approach your overall mental habit, you will get those actual “wins” far more often.